By James R. Ewing and Jill M. Rusk


If asked, most executives would agree that intellectual property has value, and that, in fact, their own organization is the holder of valuable pieces of intellectual property. It is likely, though, that many of these same executives would not be aware of the pieces of intellectual property or the intellectual property strategy of its closest competitors, let alone organizations that may rise to become new competitors in the near future. We have learned that performing competitive assessments using intellectual property as a primary basis for the assessment provides organizations with valuable insight that can be used to help companies better position themselves in the future vis-à-vis their competitors.

Today's knowledge-driven economy has presented companies with never-before-seen opportunities and threats. Given the pace of technology innovation, it is imperative that a company today develops and exploits any possible advantage it may have over its competitors. Knowledge capital, intellectual assets and intellectual property have become the name of the game. A company benefits by being a leader in innovation and technology. A company must set the direction and trends for the future and be able to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.

A company must also be willing to investigate never-before-used channels and links to its customers. The easier and more direct methods of procurement have required ...

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